Word Nerd Book Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
by Trisha Quezada
Hi fellow nerds! I’m Trish, the (newly) resident Word Nerd of Good Nerd Bad Nerd. While I’m a fan of all things nerdy, my favorite of the bunch is books. I grew up on Fantasy novels, starting with The Hobbit for a book report in 4th grade, and moving through many of the “classic cannon” works of Fantasy and Sci Fi throughout the rest of elementary and high school, then solidifying my nerd credentials by studying English in college (including a Science Fiction class).
When I discovered that there were BOOKS!!! at Comic Con (my first Con, obviously) I decided that I needed to make sure that you weren’t missing out on this piece of the nerd world. So I’ll be bringing book reviews to the GNBN site. I’ll keep my reviews here to the good stuff, but if you’re looking for other recommendations or want to know if you should avoid a book, you can follow what I’m reading or send me a message on goodreads: goodreads.com/WordNerdGNBN
On to the (spoiler free) Review! Going with the current trends of both dystopian futures and Superheros, I figured we should start with Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart. Sanderson is a fantastic author. I’ve read probably 2/3rds of his books and they’re all wonderful. You can’t go wrong with any of them. But Steelheart is a special treat for anyone that likes the Marvel/DC superheros. Published in 2013, before the explosion of the young adult dystopian novel trend, Steelheart is still a uniquely interesting take on the concept. It doesn’t ever feel tired, trite, or overly trendy.
Set in a future where some Epics gained superpowers from Calamity, a new star that showed up in the sky one night, and subsequently turned into egotistical maniac despots, Steelheart explores what it takes for people to continue to hope and stand up to limitless power. David, an orphaned teenager who works in a factory to survive, becomes obsessed with Epics after Steelheart, the ruler of Newcago, kills his father. He’s determined to find a way to destroy the Epics. Convinced that every Epic has a weakness, David compiles all the information he can find on each of the Epics searching for these fatal flaws. When he meets up with a group of resistance fighters, known as the Reckoners, he gets his chance to see what good all his knowledge and research can do.
Steelheart is very well written, moves quickly, and has a cast of characters that you really care about. No dragging scene descriptions, but the story has all the rich details you could want to ensure that you’re completely immersed in the world of the Epics. The Audio version of this is fantastic too. If you’re stuck in the car commuting, I’d highly recommend this one in audio (Audible has a free book if you’re new to Audio books too).